Tag Archives: Fancy Food Show 2014

Food Finds: Banner Year @ the Fancy Food Show & the Best Wine Savers Ever

2014: My Favorite Year for the Fancy Food Show

I’ve been attending these extravaganzas longer than I care to admit. But this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show ranks among the most memorable for intriguing new products – everything from draught-beer flavored Jelly Belly to beet-flavored soft drinks. Find out what I relished and what I spit out (figuratively, of course), here in the August 6 issue of US 1. (That’s Seward Johnson on the cover – another interesting read.)

8-6 Cover & Front (1-6).inddNote: As you read my report, you might want to take notes for your holiday gift-gifting list. I came across a record number of make-your-own kits – including those for butter, chevre, tofu, bitters, kimchi, and high-end s’mores.

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery S'mores Kit: 2014  Gold Medal for Best Food Gift

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery S’mores Kit: 2014 Gold Medal for Best Food Gift

Rabbit Wine Stoppers: Am I the last one to discover these gems?

Speaking of gifts for the foodies in your life: For years now I’ve been singing the praises of Vacu Vin wine stoppers for preserving leftover wine in opened bottles. You know the ones I mean – they come with a separate plastic doohickey for pumping the air out of the slit in the top. They usually work OK, but it’s often hard to know when you’ve pumped enough, and it means that the act of opening one bottle involves many moving parts: foil cutter, bottle opener, pump, stopper.

Rabbit Wine Bottle Stoppers

Rabbit Wine Bottle Stoppers

Recently, friends gifted me with a set of Rabbit stoppers that seal wine airtight without the pump. You simply push a colorful rubber stopper into the bottle and you’re done. They work like a charm, come in bright, happy colors, are easy to clean, and are inexpensive – a package of 2 lists for $4.99, but you can find them cheaper – and in 4-packs – at many sites, including Amazon, Macy’s, the Container Store, and Bed Bath & Beyond. They make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Thank you, Linda & Felix Buccellato for a terrific find!

Big Bad Dad’s NJ Jams; Fancy Food Show Finds & Recipes

“South Jersey Jam” Just One of Big Bad Dad’s Homemade Jams & Jellies

Dan Freeman isn’t really big or bad as far as I can tell (although he is recently back from duty in Afghanistan, so clearly he’s tough). But he is definitely a dad to two little girls, one of whom came up with the name Big Bad Dad’s for his line of all-natural jams, jellies, and fruit toppings. I was happy to make the acquaintance of Dan, his wife, and his jams at the Princeton Farmers Market. I was drawn in by his imaginative combinations, like this curried carrot butter:

Big Bad Dad's Curried Carrot Butter

Big Bad Dad’s Curried Carrot Butter

But what most piqued my interest was his South Jersey Jam, a savory blend of tomatoes, peppers, and garlic seasoned with lemon juice. It’s fresh tasting and nicely balanced – not too heavy on the garlic. Here’s what Freeman says about it: “This jam was born when my friends and I were taste testing a tomato jam I had made. We started by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that next thing you knew I had the flavor of the old neighborhood. Great on hoagies, hamburgers, hot dogs, eggs, or whatever you can imagine. Enjoy the flavor of the old neighborhood.” Hoagies? Instead of subs? Clearly, the man hails from South Jersey.

Big Bad Dad's South Jersey Jam

Big Bad Dad’s South Jersey Jam

Big Bad Dad’s flavors reflect the seasons, and often sell out. Blackberry Basil Jam should be available soon; Blueberry Lime already is. Fall flavors include Cranberry Horseradish, Pear Chocolate, and Pear Ginger. Hotheads will enjoy Orange Habanero Marmalade and Hot Pepper Jelly but will have to wait for Inferno Jam to come back online.

Speaking of online, you can order jars ($7 for 8 oz.) through the Big Bad Dad’s website. In addition to the Thursday Princeton Farmers Market, Freeman has a table at the Ocean City Farmers Market on Wednesdays, and some of his jars are stocked at Savory Spice in Princeton.

Trends, Finds, & a Cache of Great Recipes from the Fancy Food Show

Summer Fancy Food Show 2014

Summer Fancy Food Show 2014

My full report on the Summer Fancy Food Show, held a few weeks ago in NYC, is coming out the first week in August in US 1, but in the July 18th issue of the Princeton Packet I preview the trends (e.g., sriracha in everything) and share these four excellent recipes I snatched up that make the most of Jersey’s summer bounty:

– Bibb salad with red onion, oranges, and feta drizzled with super-trendy beet finishing vinegar (you can substitute balsamic)

– Mexican grilled poussins with avocado-tomato pico de gallo. An ideal summertime use for butterflied poussins from Griggstown Farm

– Oven-baked candied bacon with aromatic bitters. This is what my next breakfast or brunch guests can expect to be treated to.

– Maple peach yogurt parfait with granola. Jersey peaches are now in high season, but they reach new heights when paired with Jersey maple syrup from Hopewell’s Sweet Sourlands Farms.

The full the recipes and details here.